Wanderlust Wishlist: Ecuador Trip Ideas

Wanderlust Wishlist: Ecuador Trip Ideas

Yesterday I spent my day planning a make believe trip to Ecuador in May (fingers crossed I can convince someone to actually do this with me) so I thought I’d share the blog posts that inspired me. Why am I so ready to go there? The flight is pretty affordable and once I get there the trend continues. This week’s Wanderlust Wishlist is all about the places I’d love to go in Ecuador: Quito, Cuenca, Montañita, Guayaquil and the Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve. This country has everything from laid back surfer towns to hydrothermal springs, tropics, mountains, and busy cities. I’m sure I won’t be able to squeeze in everything!

Cuenca, Ecuador - Wanderlust Wishlist

  • If you dream about relaxing on the beach with a bunch of hippies in a laid-back party town where anything goes, it seems that Montañita is the place to go. I want to go here and learn how to surf! [2 Backpackers]
  • Baños is a small city in the Andean highlands that’s known for its hydrothermal springs. Most websites I visited mentioned that it’s very touristy and popular among both Ecuadorians and foreigners, so the best time to go is during the week when it’s not so busy. This eco-friendly hotel seems like the perfect place to relax and take in the stunning mountain views from a hammock. [Eat Sleep Live Ecuador]
  • The number one place I want to visit in Ecuador is Cuenca, the third largest city. It’s actually quite small compared with Quito and Guayaquil, and is known for its well-preserved colonial architecture. What appeals to me is that the climate is similar to Bogota, Colombia – I love leather jacket weather! I also love being in the middle of a city surrounded by mountains, it’s just so exotic compared to NYC. Things to do in Cuenca include hiking in the Parque Nacional Cajas, exploring the many historical churches and walking along the river Tomebamba, which runs through the heart of the city. [Living Gringo]
  • I also really want to tour the Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve. It’s just 45 minutes from Guayaquil and seems similar to a jungle tour I did in Costa Rica. I love spotting wildlife and getting into nature for just a little while… as long as I can return to my modern, wifi-equipped hotel later – ha! [Ecuador’s Ama La Vida TV]
  • Some of these were covered already in the other posts I linked to, but here are 10 of the most photogenic places in Ecuador. Really makes you realize just how much there is to do there! [Sangay]

Montañita, Ecuador - Wanderlust Wishlist

Photo of Cuenca: Maurizio Costanzo via Flickr

Photo of Montañita:  Jonathan Hood via Flickr



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  • Sharon says:

    It sounds like a great plan!

    I have been to Ecuador, but only Quito and Otavalo and I can’t say I had the best experiences (perhaps you read one of them in my worst travel experiences post?!). I would love to return and visit other parts of the country. I wish it was affordable to fly there from here (Australia), but unfortunately complicated and costly.

    • annarice23 says:

      I’ve heard that Quito isn’t great from several people! I’ll definitely be heading elsewhere. Fortunately the flight from NY is one of the most affordable international flights. I’m sure it’s crazy expensive to fly from Australia though!

  • Linda Bibb says:

    Quito’s old town is actually a UNESCO site and it’s worth a short visit if you have time. I highly recommend the Amazon region; the tour we took included Baños so we killed two birds with one stone!

  • Ecuador and Colombia were the two South American countries that I didn’t visit during my journey to the continent last year. Cannot wait to be back and see the Zero Meridian as well as the Galapagos Islands 😀

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